You may be thinking, "Pesci...preachers? That seems like a non sequitor." If so, I urge you to remember that Jesus, St. Paul, Martin Luther, Johnathan Edwards, Anne Hutchinson, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were preachers. Yeah; we've go plenty of Pescis*.
At any rate, I have fictional preachers in mind today.
Remember that scene in Boiler Room when the young wannabe stock brokers took turns reciting lines from Wall Street? Or on Hot Fuzz when Nick Frost revealed his massive collection of police-related movies? I think we've all got our favorite books and films that glamorize, flamorize, and romanticize what we do for a living. My mother, an RN, has a huge collection of antique Cherry Ames books. Cherry Ames is this twenty-something nurse who would have to be like sixty to have held down all the jobs she's supposedly mastered--army nurse, dude ranch nurse, ski lodge nurse, rural nurse, mountaineer nurse. I've never read one, but I guarantee she always saves the day, gets her fella, and never loses that cute little nurse's cap. And, while I bet they claim to hate them, I'm sure most archaeologists have all the Indiana Jones and Lara Croft DVDs locked away at home and watch them religiously. After all, those are some Pesci archaeologists.
So, who's in my Pesci preacher collection? Pickins are slim. When they're not psychos or perverts, preachers are usually portrayed as timid little nancies in fiction, even religious thriller type fiction. Just look at a book full of Pescis* like This Present Darkness. That's about as pro-church, pro-clergy a book as you can get, but still the newspaperman is a Pesci, the angels are Pescis, even the random skeptic lady has her Pesci moments. But the preacher is just kind of weasely and spastic.
So here's my list of favorite fictional Pesci clergy off the top of my head:
- Sonny in The Apostle
- Reverend Frank in License to Wed (that little sidekick of his too)
- Father Laurence in Romeo + Juliet (played by Kobayashi!)
- Pastor Dan on Raising Helen
- Brother Thomas on The Prophecy
- The God Squad in Keeping the Faith
- Father Gilbert from the Father Gilbert Mysteries (more about him next time).
- Monsignor Martinez from King of the Hill ("Via...con Dios.")
- That bald, grizzled priest in End of Days (nonsense about 1999 notwithstanding...hey, makes as much sense as dispensationalism.)
- Father McGruder (pre-zombie) in DeadAlive
- Father Gabriel in The Mission
- Mel Gibson in Signs
- Friar Tuck on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- Abbe Faria in The Count of Monte Cristo
- Harvey Keitel's character in Dusk Til Dawn (note: I am not recommending this movie! But I saw it and I can't unsee it and Keitel's character was indeed a Pesci Baptist pastor...who makes holy water.)
- Father Damien from The Exorcist (even though he lost in the end...on second thought,
- Robert Deniro's character in Sleepers
- Stacy Keach and David White in Mercy Streets
So now, your turn:
1. How have books, movies, TV, etc. tried to romanticize and glamorize your profession?
2. What are your favorites? Which ones do you watch/read over and over again?
*Hmmm, this is a problem. It looks like it should be pronounced PESH-iss. I refuse to put an apostrophe where one is not warranted. Maybe "Pescies" could be the plural. If so, I'm thinking we lose the capital all together.